How to Plant Larger Vegetables in Your Vertical Vegetable Garden

woman tending to vertical vegetable garden

Large vegetables are incredibly versatile and can go a long way, hence their popularity. A common question that many people have is whether they can grow larger vegetables in their Garden Tower® vertical container garden or not—the answer is yes! There is a large array of delicious, large vegetables that can be grown in a properly designed vertical vegetable garden. Here at Garden Tower Project, we’ve created this informative guide to help you grow any vegetable you’d like.

What Vegetables Can I Add Into My Garden Tower®?

Large Vegetables For Any Vertical Vegetable Garden

vertical garden sweet potatoes

There is a wide variety of large vegetables that can be planted in your Garden Tower®. Some of these include tomatoes, cabbages, gourds, peppers, eggplant, brussels sprouts, bush cucumbers, bush zucchini, and bush summer squash. 

Something to look out for when you’re planting tomatoes in a vertical vegetable garden is the type of tomato plant you’re actually buying—we recommend determinate varieties of tomatoes or smaller tomatoes such as cherry and grape varieties. These types are much easier to trellis and are less susceptible to blossom-end-rot. When you’re looking for other vining vegetables such as squash, peppers, cucumber, or even melons, you should keep an eye out for “bush” or “container” varieties. These are great for tower growing because they are much more compact and produce fruit closer to the stems, making for a much more manageable gardening experience.

There are other large vegetables that can be grown in a Garden Tower®, however they’re a lot less common and can be difficult to harvest. Vegetables like these include corn and potatoes. While they’ll both grow, the Tower must be taken apart to harvest potatoes and corn can be difficult to find success in growing vertically without experience.  If you want to try your hand with potatoes, consider smaller varieties of sweet potatoes as they are the easiest to grow and do not require soil mounding (pictured above) in Garden Tower 2™ vertical garden planters.  

Vegetables That Enjoy the Top Section of the Vertical Garden Planters

Keeping Vertical Garden Planters Soil Drainage in Mind

vertical vegetable garden with large vegetables planted in the top

Once you’ve decided what large veggies you want to plant, next you have to think about where you should place them in the actual Tower. Vegetables that prefer a more well-drained soil should go on the top, as the soil will drain downwards. Some of the plants that enjoy the top of the vertical vegetable garden include tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Another great benefit to putting these types of plants on top is that it’s a lot easier to support these types of vegetables—stakes can be easily added to the open top (as well as side pockets) for optimal support of all your plants. Save the side holes (excluding the bottom) for smaller vegetables, as they don’t need as much support!  Also consider planting fast-growing greens such as lettuces between your larger veggies.  The lettuces will be ready for a full harvest before they get shaded by the larger plants.  

Large Vegetables for the Bottom

Allowing Heavier Large Vegetables to Rest on the Ground

two Garden Towers® with large veggies being grown

Vining plants should go on the bottom of your tower to allow for the ground to support them, so that the weight can be sustained. Vegetables such as the summer squash and compact melons are great for the lower holes, as the produce is able to be supported on the ground once they begin to get larger. The lower holes are also great spots for plants that need more water—as previously mentioned, vertical vegetable gardens drain downwards, so your plant will be in a wetter environment for a longer period of time.

Something to keep in mind, however, is that to maintain the ability to easily rotate your garden (if growing in a Garden Tower 2™ vertical vegetable garden), look for bush varieties of your favorite vining vegetables, as it’ll be much easier for you to easily rotate your garden this way. You can quickly trellis out the side pockets with bamboo, wood, or plastic stakes to support your larger bush vegetable plants.  Here at Garden Tower Project, we’ve had great success with varieties of bush squash, bush cucumber, bush pickling cucumber, compact bush melons, and more!

Tips for Growing Larger Vegetables

Considerations With Nutrients, Soil, and More

woman with a variety of large vegetables in vertical vegetable garden

Start by taking some time to learn the growing cycle of your larger vegetable plants.  Seasonal changes and plant requirements for temperature and daylight should be understood so that your planting timing is close to ideal and you have the greatest chance to reap a bountiful harvest. Larger vegetables usually take more time to reach maturity as they have a growth phase, flowering phase, and fruiting (vegetable) phase.  Start here for general seed scheduling information, and then refer to your seed package labeling and seed supplier for more detail.   

With larger vegetables comes more need for nutrients. Picking the right potting soil is incredibly important for this, as it is the foundation of your garden’s health. Pick a light and fluffy soil to best support your veggies’ growth. Another great way to add nutrients into your soil is through plant food and nutrient dense waterings—also known as what we like to call “worm tea”. Here at Garden Tower Project, our all-purpose Dr. Earth plant food gives your Garden Tower® and entire year’s worth of nutrients to help your plants grow larger and healthier. 

Another fantastic way to support bigger plants and bigger yields is through companion planting—by figuring out what plants your large vegetables love to grow beside, you can create more nutritionally-dense foods and scare off common garden pests.  Speaking of pests, try to familiarize yourself with the most common garden pests that target your vegetables, so that you can spot and manage your garden pests before they do significant damage.

Large vegetables are a great garden staple and can spice up your daily meals by unlocking a brand new menu. By understanding the best ways to grow them and where you should place them in your Tower, soon you’ll have delicious large veggies on your plate. Interested in growing your own food but not sure where to start? Learn more about bringing basic organics into your own home with Garden Tower Project.

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